mario kart arcade

Start your engines, boys and girls! Long-running racing series Mario Kart is making its third entry into the arcade scene, with Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix DX launching this July in Japanese video arcades!

Japanese gamer news hub Inside-Games has revealed that the latest edition of the multiplayer arcade racing hit will be playable in just a few short weeks. The new arcade cabinets were originally scheduled to arrive “sometime in summer” in Japan, but were unleashed at the recent World Hobby Fair 2013 where players competed in mushroom and shell-fuelled races with up to seven competitors.

mario kart screen 2

The arcade game features slightly heavier physics than the home versions of Mario Kart, creating a racing experience that’s a little different to that which veteran living room players are used to, but lends itself well to the arcade cabinet’s full-size racing seats and mini steering wheels. The game also allows players to snap a photo of themselves to use as an in-game avatar which itself can be adorned with a plethora of hats, wigs and accessories–perfect for taunting the competition with as you breeze by.

As for the new racing roster, old favourites such as Mario, Toad, Princess Peach, Donkey Kong and Bowser will be making a welcome return, alongside the eternally happy taiko drum character Don-chan from arcade drumming sensation Taiko no Tatsujin, who comes with a brand new course based on his own game.

▼ Can drums drive?? We’ll soon find out!


New tracks and characters aside, Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix DX is also boasts a variety of technical features intended to make it possible for the entire family to play together. The new auto accelerate function, for example, is designed to help younger children who might not be able to manage both steering and pedal operation all at once, allowing them to focus entirely on steering while the game speeds their kart along.

On top of the nine confirmed characters to race as, visitors to the hobby expo who tried out the new game also noticed three blank character slots, suggesting that Nintendo and the maker of the game, Namco, still have some surprises left up their sleeves. Our money’s on at least one Pokémon making an appearance, possibly alongside everyone’s favourite pink puff-ball Kirby, because who wouldn’t want to drive by and suck up competitors’ weapon items?

Mario Kart Arcade Grand Prix DX will be in Japanese arcades from the end of July. See you on the digital racetrack, guys!

▼21 years after the original game and we still can’t get enough!

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▼ Choose your character wisely.

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▼ Even the little guys can play now!

mario kart 3

Source: Inside-Games (Japanese)